Our first meeting at the cafeteria

Our first meeting was at Café Europa. And my objective of this meeting was to order something in Finnish. At first, Hannele and Pyry taught me how to say in Finnish, and I practiced a little.I ordered one cup of coffee and Nutella and banana crape. We can say in Finnish “Otan kahvi ja Nutella banaani kreppi, kiitos” to order them. After I ordered (the woman understood my ordering and she was smiling :)) At first, we talked about some Finnish / Japanese words to be used in a cafeteria or when we have a meal.

English:   May I help you?

Finnish:   Voinko autta? (Voin means “can” in Fininish and “Ko” ending is making the   question word)

Japanese: いらっしゃいませ irasshaimase / 何かお探しですか? Nanika-osagashidesuka?

When we are talking about “May I help you?” I realized we don’t have these words which have same mean exactly in Japanese. We can translate these word to いらっしゃいませ, but it’s just the greeting. Then I tried to explain how I can say when I want to help a customer as a salesclerk in Japan. In case of me, I will say 何かお探しですか? means “Are you looking for something?”. It was interesting because I didn’t realize it doesn’t have completely same meaning words in Japanese.

English:    Enjoy your meal

Finnish:    Hyvää ruokahalua

Japanese:  いただきます itadakimasu

Hyvää means good in Finnish. I often heard this word in Basics of Finnish course.


They told me that Finnish has lots of partial changes and some similar words.


puhua = to talk, to speak      puhelin = speech

secoita = to mix, to blend      tehosekoitin = blender     tehokas = efficient

(teho means power)

kala = fish        kana = chicken


Finnish is difficult to recognize because of partial changes, but I thought similar Finnish words help me to learn Finnish while associating several words.

It was good to learn Finnish and teach Japanese because they already understand Japanese well. Therefore, I could learn Finnish comparing with Japanese. Also, we told each culture when we were learning the languages. It was the good point in this meeting and different from leaning at school.

The first meeting was the great start for us!


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